One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region's communities.
What road should you take to get to Upper Gwynedd?
Unlike many locations in the region, this Montgomery County township gives you a choice, which makes a visit there all the more interesting.
A favorite route is Sumneytown Pike, which will take you through North Wales. Or there are Route 202 and Welsh Road, both of which take you through Lansdale.
Upper Gwynedd provides a fabulous interactive map at app.skyline.carrigangeo.com/view/3GYXHA8ua5D - not so much to help you find Smile Lane, but to give you a better feel for the township's real estate.
(For those rail-riders among you, SEPTA's Doylestown Line trains stop at Pennbrook station in Upper Gwynedd and North Wales.)
It's very clear that Upper Gwynedd is interested in managing the growth that can often overwhelm towns in areas that are targeted by both residential and commercial developers.
That's why it supports the 240-acre Gwynedd Wildlife Preserve, which, in turn, supports a diverse variety of habitats, including ponds and wetlands, open meadows, wildflower meadows, hedgerows, deciduous forests, and conifer plantations.
Upper Gwynedd is also the home of Merck & Co., the pharmaceuticals giant and one of the area's major employers, with facilities in the West Point section and elsewhere in the 8.1-square-mile township.
According to Diane Williams, an agent with Weichert Realtors in Blue Bell who sells in the township, Upper Gwynedd has 35 active listings, ranging from a condo flat going for $109,900 to a 4.5-acre estate priced at $1,390,000.
"Property sales are averaging 17 a month, meaning that the price absorption rate is two months," Williams says.
In the last year, 225 properties sold here, with an average price of $315,397, she says; sale prices ranged from $93,000 to $660,000.
Average time on market for a property is 53 days, she notes.
Nineteen sales are pending, ranging in price from $115,000 to $525,000, Williams says.
In the last three months, 54 homes sold in Upper Gwynedd, compared with 74 in the same three months of 2015, according to Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach Realtors HomExpert Market Report.
The median sale price was $283,450 (half the homes sold for more, half for less). That was up 3.3 percent from $274,325 in the same three-month period of 2015, according to HomExpert.
Williams says there is one new-construction project in Upper Gwynedd, called the Preserve at Gwynedd.
Featured at the Preserve, built by Better Living Homes, are 19 townhouses and four single-family detached homes. The townhouses sell for $329,000 to $404,900, while the singles are going for $499,990.
Bob Acuff, of Re/Max Services in Blue Bell, is the listing agent for the Preserve at Gwynedd.
Upper Gwynedd is in the 12,719-student North Penn School District, which has three middle schools and 13 elementary schools. Its high school ranks 46th in Pennsylvania, and 1,526th nationally.
The district plays an oversized role in the real estate of Upper Gwynedd and the other municipalities that comprise it: the Boroughs of North Wales, Lansdale and Hatfield and Towamencin, Montgomery and Hatfield Townships.
"Montgomery Township has a higher average resale price, at $340,000," Williams says, but Upper Gwynedd has a higher average resale price than Hatfield Township or Towamencin Township."
There are three over-55 communities in Upper Gwynedd, Williams says. Two offer homes priced from $195,000 into the $200,000s: Gwynedd Commons and Gwynedd Woods.
The Reserve at Gwynedd is higher-end, Williams says, and includes several high-rise buildings with "attractive flats, twins, carriage houses, and singles."
The flats range from the mid-$200,000s to mid- $300,000s. The twins, carriage houses, and singles range from the high $400,000s to $558,000.